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9.1 How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects

Let’s put some of your new knowledge to use and build a lower third from scratch!

Related Links

1 lesson, 00:49


2.Getting Started
5 lessons, 42:55

What Is After Effects?

Main Panels


After Effects Tools

More AE Tools

3.Compositions and Layers
3 lessons, 26:35

After Effects Composition


After Effects Layer Properties

3 lessons, 25:21

After Effects Keyframe Basics

After Effects Keyframe Easing

Spatial Interpolation

5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text
5 lessons, 45:36

Learn How to Mask in After Effects

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1

After Effects Shape Layers: Part 2

Text in After Effects

Text Animation and More

2 lessons, 13:42

What Is 2.5D?

More 2.5D

7.Motion Tracking
4 lessons, 34:04

Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text

More Motion Tracking

Camera Tracking in After Effects

3D Text in After Effects

8.Mattes and Cool Effects
4 lessons, 43:43




Mind-Blowing Third-Party Effects

9.Build a Lower Third
2 lessons, 21:35

How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects

Final Touches on the Lower Third

1 lesson, 09:11

Exporting From After Effects

1 lesson, 01:16


12.Bonus Lessons
4 lessons, 2:14:00

How to Make an After Effects Text Animation

How to Use After Effects Intro Templates

How to Create Handwriting Animation in After Effects

How to Create Brush Effects in After Effects

13.Frequently Asked Questions
8 lessons, 1:34:42

FAQ Introduction

How to Export Video From After Effects

How to Export Video From After Effects Using PreRendering

How to Mask in After Effects

How to Animate Text in After Effects

How to Make a GIF in After Effects

How to Duplicate Layer in After Effects

FAQ Conclusion

9.1 How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects

In this lesson, you're gonna be putting all the skills you've learned so far to the test and you're gonna build yourself a lower third from scratch. If you wanna follow along with this comp, make sure to open up the lowerthirds.aep file. I will include the pre-built lower third if you wanna open it up and poke around in there, go ahead. But I highly encourage you to follow along and build it with me. All right, let's take a look at what you are going to be creating. All right, so it's a real basic lower third. I actually built this in two parts and hopefully that'll make sense by the end of this lesson. I have a lower third left half and this is where you put the name. And then I have a lower third right, it's not really a half but this is where you put the title of the person. So let's start building this. Start, I'm gonna create a new composition and I'm gonna start with 1200x145, I'm gonna use 23.976 frames a second. That is a preset, which you can just select right there. And we're gonna make it six seconds long. And this is going to be the right side. So I'm gonna name this Lower Third_Right. And I'm gonna start by making that background element for my text to sit on. So I'm gonna grab the rectangle tool. I'm gonna double-click on it and that'll create a rectangle that is the same size as my comp. Now I don't want it the exact same size. So I'm going to drill down here in a rectangle path. I'm gonna unclick constrain proportions and I'm gonna change the Y dimension to 125 pixels. I'm also gonna rename this, I'll press Enter here. I'll rename this layer BG Rec. If you click away and then click back on this layer, you'll see the anchor point for this layer. I'm gonna press Y on the keyboard to grab the anchor point tool. And I'm gonna move the anchor point and snap it to the left side here. If you don't have snapping turned on you can hold down Ctrl while you're moving the anchor point to temporarily enable snapping. But you wanna snap it right here to this side. All right, I'm gonna create some text here. So this is going to be my title. And this is going to be left aligned. And I want to align this in the middle and I actually want to move the anchor point on this layer as well. So I'm gonna press Y and I'm gonna move the anchor point right here to the center. Now if you ever find that it's snapping in a weird way, just solo the layer and that should help to snap the anchor point right where you need to. All right, gonna switch back to the selection tool here, and just align it a little bit more to the left. And I'm also gonna trim up my rectangle here. Now I like to build these lower thirds in such a way that I can reuse them. So I intentionally make them a little bit longer than I need for, let's say one title. Which is why I made this comp 1200 pixels wide. So to resize my rectangle here, I'm not going to go in to the rectangle path. I'm gonna press S to bring up the scale, and I'm just gonna adjust the scale, which is why I moved the anchor point over to this left side here. So I'm gonna pull the scale in and make this just a little bit bigger than my text. Maybe just a hair more, perfect. That looks great. I also had a little bit of movement in the previous lower third example that you saw. That was done with another little rectangle, so I'll grab the rectangle tool here and just make a little rectangle. It doesn't matter what size because I'm going to change it right here. I'll dive down into the rectangle path, and uncheck constraint proportions and I'm gonna change the height to 10 pixels. I'm gonna jump back up to the fill color and change that to white. And I'll grab the selection tool here and I'm actually just gonna click away. And then jump back to my shape here. It looks like the anchor point for the layer was put right in the center of the comp. So if you wanna move that over to the center of your layer the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+home or you can just grab the anchor point tool and do that manually. I'm gonna grab the anchor point tool because I actually want to snap the anchor point to the bottom left. I'll switch back to the selection tool. Actually, for this I think I want it snapped to the upper left hand corner. Switch back to the selection tool. I want to align this just to the bottom of this layer. And depending on where you click to move this to a line, like if I click more to a center, it's going to want to snap to the center. But if I click and move this more towards one edge, that's where's going to wanna snap to. I want to align this layer right to the edge of my comp, so I'm gonna come over here to the align panel and click the Align Left button. I'm gonna rename this layer, Lil Rec. Press P on the keyboard, bring up position, gonna drop a position key frame, move down to the end and just move it over just a little bit. The next thing that I wanna do is create the mattes that are going to reveal all of these elements. So to do that I'm gonna use shape layers again. So without any layer selected, I'm gonna come up here and double-click the rectangle tool which will create a nice rectangle that covers up everything, and that's totally fine. I'm gonna click down here in the timeline, press Enter and then rename this Matte_01. Press Y on the keyboard, grab the Anchor Point Tool and snap this to the left side. I'm gonna press S, unlink these, and then scale this so that it just covers up my background box. I'm gonna go to one second, drop a key frame, come back to the beginning, and set the x scale to 0. So now I get this going from 0 scale all the way up to 100. But I don't like the way that those linear key frames looks, so I'm gonna select them, press F9 on the keyboard, jump into the graph editor, select the last key frame here, grab the handle, hold Shift and pull it all the way to the left. And you can click this button if you want to fit all graphs to view that may aid you in making these adjustments. I'm gonna select and grab the first key frame, grab the handle while holding Shift and pull all the way to the left, and that will create that nice super fast curve. I think that'll look really nice. Very cool, in fact, I think it will look a little bit better with motion blur. I'm gonna press F4, switch over to the layer switch pane, enable motion blur for this. Then I'm gonna pull this down above the background rectangle. Now, I'm gonna need a matte for each one of my elements here. So to keep track of these visually, I'm just gonna change the color by clicking on the square to the left of the layer number. And I'm gonna change it to orange. All right, so that's my first matte. I'm gonna press F4 on the keyboard again and change my background rectangle to Alpha Matte. And that would be the first little matte there that's running the background map and that looks fantastic. Gonna press U on the keyboard to bring up those key frames. I like the animation in. But I'm gonna go down here to five seconds, drop another scale key frame. Then go to the end and change the X scale to 0, and this would be the animation out. I don't really like that motion, so I'm just gonna grab this key frames, press F9 to ease them. That'll give me a good starting shape. I'm not gonna zoom over here and then just make a little adjustment to this curve here. Something like that should be fine. Super, I'm gonna take my Matte_01 and I'm gonna press Ctrl+D on the keyboard to duplicate it. And this layer is gonna sit above my text layer. So now if I set my text layer to Alpha Matte, that's going to be using the same matte. Now, I don't like that they go at the same time. So I'm gonna select my Matte_02 layer. Press U on the keyboard. I'm gonna go to frame three, select my first two key frames and just pull those over so that this is delayed by three frames. I also want my text to roll away first. So I'm gonna do the same thing here by moving my key frame three frames to the left by pressing page up, three times, select my ending key frames here and pull those over. I like to hold Shift when I move key frames around, cause that helps snap it to the CTI. So now my text will just come on just a little later. And it will leave just ahead of the box, perfect. Finally, I'm gonna go down here to the Matte_01, I'm gonna duplicate it. I'm gonna press S, and then I'm going to get rid of all of the key frames by pressing the key frame toggle here. Because what I wanna do is I wanna link the scale to the scale of my Matte_01 layer. And that way, if I make any changes to the scale there, it'll update on this layer, and I don't have to worry about it. I'm just gonna press Alt and then click the stopwatch. Then I'm gonna grab this Pick Whip right here, and Pick Whip the scale, just like that, and then click away. And that's it. It's that simple. I'll grab my Matte_03 layer, pull it above my Lil Rec, change my Lil Rec to Alpha Matte. And that's it, this side is done. Coming up in the next lesson, we're gonna build the left side of this lower third. So check that out, coming up next.

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